I have known Cliff for more than twenty-five years, and have always been impressed by his tenacious attitude toward defense of the human person. Way back in the early days of American Life League, Cliff was constantly urging and encouraging us along with Nellie Gray and many others about the need to keep our focus squarely on what abortion does to babies. His mantra was explaining the humanity of the child prior to birth and the reasons why the law could not condone acts of killing. He never avoided noting the individuality of the preborn child from the instant his life begins.
Cliff was a brilliant attorney and a trailblazer in more ways than these few words of tribute could ever say. He loved us, he stuck with us through thick and thin, he sacrificed for the babies and he never wanted anyone to even think of giving him credit for a single action, no matter how heroic.
His life was nothing short of a testimony to God’s glory. During Cliff’s eighty-first year when most folks would have been happy to be playing golf or going on a cruise, Cliff was devising new ways to get his local judges to recognize human personhood. He planned on and did get arrested at a local abortion mill, giving the argument that he knew human beings were dying in that place. Even though conflicted about what they had to do that day, the police arrested Cliff. As they drove off to jail, one reporter lovingly noted Cliff Zarsky flashed a million-dollar smile across his face when he heard that a pretty blond woman in a white pick-up truck decided then and there not to have an abortion after hearing Zarsky’s testimony in the parking lot.
That is the Cliff Zarsky we will so sorely miss. That is the same man who called me earlier this year to tell me about his new idea for getting the court to pay attention to the humanity of the preborn. I started strategizing with him when he said words I will not soon forget, Judie, I am sitting here in the local hospital on a gurney; I have fluid on my lungs and my cell is dying. Call me later …
There are so many fond memories of Cliff, I could write all day, but suffice it to say we will miss him terribly. We pray for the happy repose of his soul and we will persist in doing the work that he and so many others taught us to do so well. With heroes like that, how could we do anything else?
Cliff, we love you; we always will. You will ever be in our prayers and our thoughts.